What's holding you back from purchasing a home?

If you frequently visit real estate sites like Zillow to look for homes, and you're dreaming of owning a home, what are some of the reasons that are holding you back?

 
  • May 07 2010 - Olympia
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Answers (8)

Profile picture for jdsdaddy
This crazy thing called common sense is what holds me back.  I also don't dream of owning a home (already owned two, and sold in 2007).  I have instead achieved the much more worthy dream of being financially secure and debt free.

Owning a home can be a great thing, but too many people have bought and are still buying for absolutely the wrong reasons.
  • May 07 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
@ Michael - Maybe it would have been better phrased as "Consumers who only have these questions are prime for the fleecing."

Too many consumers today are focused on "Do I want it?" and "Can I afford it?" Not enough focus enough brain cells on "Do I need it?", "Is it really a good idea?", and "Is now the right time?"

For what it's worth, when you reduce the RE profession to its basics, it is a sales industry. Unfortunately, sales personnel who are overly concerned about "Is this good decision for the buyer" aren't going to make as many sales as "The buyer has already made their decision, now let me remove any obstacles."

An overly harsh portrayal? Perhaps. An overly broad brush? Possibly. True way too often? Yep. There's a good reason that "Caveat emptor" has been an integral part of the market lexicon. It's too bad that so many consumers have forgotten their basic Latin.

p.s. If you consider the topic of this post, plus many posts by agents along the same lines, it is a classic sales technique. If you can get the potential buyer to identify the "issue", then you can work to remove it. Once removed, the buyer is faced with the choice of moving forward, or having to say that they weren't being truthful about the reason for their reluctance. Some are more ham-handed at using this technique than others, but it is a classic sales tool.
  • May 07 2010
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Profile picture for Lady Chattel

"who do I turn to to get these questions answered?" 
Certainling not a REA that is for sure.  I turn to the NYT buy vs. rent calculator.....right now it says it is better to buy only after 25 years....which translates to I would have to live in the house for 25 yrs to make it a good deal....Why? Cause houses in the D.C. market are still overpriced.   Incomes have eroded over the last decade yet prices went up.  The fundamentals of house prices and financing are still not in place.  

Meanwhile, I just signed my lease for a 4th time......rent has stayed the same!! The house on my street for sale would cost me double per month to buy.....enuff said. 

  • May 07 2010
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Profile picture for akastephie
The inventory. I have not been impressed with the condition of the vast majority of the houses on the market and we are not the fixer-upper type people.
  • May 07 2010
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socal_engr - saying those questions are for consumers primes for fleecing is pretty reactionary.  I get your point but those are also valid questions from a consumer actively considering a home purchase.

I loved the rest of your viewpoint and I agree wholeheartedly.  The question of whether to buy at all right now is the first, and most important, question.

I agree for many the answer is "no."
  • May 07 2010
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Profile picture for dacolan
I'm not only waiting to see how the expiring tax credit and end of the Fed's manipulation of interest rates effects the housing market, but for significant improvement in unemployment and foreclosures, sustained at healthy levels for a significant period of time (a couple of quarters at least).

The fact is you were far better off buying 7 months after the bottom of the housing market had come and gone during the Great Depression than 3 months before. There is a very real threat of a double still to come. With no real threat of significant appreciation for the foreseeable future, I am content to wait for the reassurance that fundamental economic stability is clearly in my rear view mirror before potentially falling victim to the next leg down.

After all, based on the experience of those unfortunate enough to have bought a little too early during the last bubble that came anywhere near comparable to today's, I have far more to lose than I do to gain by not exercising discretion.
  • May 07 2010
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
"How much down payment do I need?"
"Is my credit ok?"
"What will the payments be?"
"Can I qualify?"
"What does it cost to find out if I qualify?"

Those are the questions asked by consumers who are prime for the fleecing, just like any consumer in any sales transaction.

The better questions are...
    Do I need to buy, or am I okay renting?
    Does my current/immediate lifestyle match better with ownership or renting?
    Am I in a position (financial/personal/career/etc.) to buy?
    Is this a good time for me to buy?
  • May 07 2010
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Good question Todd! Hopefully we'll get some consumers to give us some feedback.

Reflecting upon the last few first time home buyers I've helped I'd sum up the reasons for holding back as fear of the unknown:

How much down payment do I need?
Is my credit ok?
What will the payments be?
Can I qualify?
What does it cost to find out if I qualify?

And the biggest - "who do I turn to to get these questions answered?"
  • May 07 2010
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